DRC customs head backtracks on copper, cobalt export ban

Customs officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo have backtracked on a decree made just 24 hours earlier and re-approved the export of copper concentrate and cobalt from the country.

In an official letter to extractive companies in Katanga province, the center of cobalt mining in the country if not the world, Bernard Bosele Pilipilithe, provincial director of Customs and Excise for the province, said that exports of copper and cobalt concentrate were banned.

The decree was dated May 26.

In a follow-up letter dated May 27, however, Pilipilithe clarified that exports will be allowed by companies that have permits to do so, issued by the DRC’s Ministry of Mines.

Fastmarkets’ sources have confirmed that trucks exporting concentrate for shipment or refining had not been stopped from travelling over the country’s border into Zambia.

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